If convenience is king in your household, your espresso machine selection will likely center on superautomatic, capsule or pod-friendly options such as those made by DeLonghi, Jura, Nespresso and Saeco.
But which of these three machine styles produces a better shot? Does it matter? Of course it does! Watch as Gail demonstrates making an Americano on a pod-friendly semi-automatic, a capsule machine and a superautomatic. We compare flavor and discuss the relative convenience and ease of use.
For ease of use, cleanliness and convenience, Nespresso‘s patented capsule espresso machines are a hard act to follow. Sure, they’re never going to give you the God shot, but if you’re considering one, that’s probably not that important to you. What they will do is give you consistently good espresso and offer you a variety of blends to choose from.
While they have several different styles of machines, one thing remains the same: The brewing functionality. Other than that, each model has different features you can choose from. Watch as Gail guides us through their currently available suite of machines and talks to us about how they compare.
If you dig the convenience of a capsule espresso machine but are looking for a little one touch madness, this Delonghi – Nespresso hybrid may be the choice for you. Watch Gail break down its features, functionality and performance — making a few drinks and testing temperature.
Nespresso’s proprietary capsules are made out of aluminum, and we have been often asked if they are recyclable. Well, yes, once you get the coffee out of them. Instead of struggling with cutting them open, you can pick up this gadget which easily separates the coffee from the aluminum — send one half to the recycle bin and the other to the compost pile!
Watch as Gail demonstrates how easily — and strangely satisfying — it is to use the Outpresso.
When we started carrying Nespresso machines, we didn’t realize they would be some of the most hotly debated machines in our store. Folks are not sure if they perform well — can they really make good espresso with a capsule? What is their brew temperature? Do their milk frothing options function well?
You know that we firmly believe that there is a market for every machine, and while these guys are definitely not going to please an ardent purist, they have a well-loved place in many homes throughout the world for a reason: They’re easy to use, no-mess and make espresso similar to what you find on a standard superautomatic espresso machine. Arguably their one drawback is their proprietary capsules, and some folks don’t dig having to purchase them only through Nespresso’s coffee club. But if you can get around that and you’re looking for a simple solution to get your morning java fix, this definitely could be the choice for you.
Since we get all kinds of questions about how the Nespresso functions, we did a few tests to show temperature, water volume and milk frothing temp so that folks would know if the basic function would meet their specs. Watch Gail run them through the gamut!
DeLonghi and Nespresso have coalesced yet again to offer an updated version of their Lattissima series of machines. Like their previous models, the Lattissima Premium takes Nespresso’s finely tuned capsule espresso and pairs it with DeLonghi’s one-touch automatic milk frothing so you can easily create a one-touch cappuccino or latte without muss or fuss. OK, maybe a little bit of fuss.
This time around, the Premium has a beautiful metal casing and increased programming options. We’ll be getting in a batch shortly, so check them out and sign up to get an email update once they’re in stock if you’re interested.
Proving that caffeine can get more than just your body going, designers Mischer*Traxler created batteries utilizing old Nespresso aluminum capsules, coffee grounds, strips of copper and salt water. As part of Vienna Design week, the batteries were setup to power clocks displayed in Nespresso Austria’s display window.
In addition to questions of flavor/quality, one of the common concerns folks have about Nespresso machines is the capsules — specifically, are they eco-friendly? They are definitely recyclable, but you need to clean them out beforehand (often more work than some folks want to do) so here’s another option instead. Crush ‘em up and use them to power your alarm clock! We assume no liability when you arrive late to work, however.
As we wrote about in March, Nespresso’s historically proprietary capsules were slated for competition this summer — and it’s about to get real. Both Sara Lee’s L’Or capsules and the Ethical Coffee Company’s biodegradable capsules have hit the market and Nestle has begun an avid defense of their ~1700 patents on how the espresso is produced on their machines.
With lawsuits in the works and police raids of manufacturing facilities in France, it’s clear that Nestle’s Nespresso business model is designed around a lack of competition. Since we’re ardent supporters of competition and believe it to be in the best interest of the customer, it’s hard for us to empathize with Nestle’s position on this one.
As with the machines themselves, there seems to be different target markets for each of the competitive capsules being produced and that kind of diversity will only serve to increase the reach, accessibility and attractiveness of the equipment itself. If you have people concerned about the environmental impact of the capsules, they can purchase the equipment and go with Ethical Coffee Company’s capsule approach; similarly, if someone is more budget conscious and willing to take a bit of a reduction in quality, it sounds like the L’Or capsules are cheaper but maybe not quite as tasty as the original. In both cases, Nestle should see the competing products as another marketing arm that feeds into their machine sales. Obviously, their model is designed around lower cost machines that are supported economically by capsule purchases over the life of the equipment, but the biggest complaint and ‘no’ factor we see on the retail side is this lack of easily accessible capsules.
On the US front, Green Mountain and Lavazza are in final negotiations to team up and take another stab at Lavazza’s capsule-based espresso in this market, so the competition will be equipment based, as well, within the next few years. In our opinion, both pressures will result in better options for the customer at the end of the day, so we’re all for it.
A lot of people dig the ease of the Nespresso capsule machines, and if you’ve been on the market for one — or even considering pulling the trigger on picking one up — they’re sweetening the deal on purchases made between 4/30/10 and 6/30/10. If you buy a machine of $299 or more, you can fill out a rebate form that will apply a $50 credit to your Coffee Club account.
One of the big debates about the Nespresso is the fact that you can currently only get the capsules from them via their website, and so this little gift will be a sweet discount on the cost of your coffee over the life of the machine. With the rough price of each capsule at around $.50, this is basically 100 free of them! If you pick up one of these machines during this promotion period, print out and follow the instructions on this form to get your goods.